David Cameron is set to return to Number 10 with a majority government, a Sky News projection suggests.
Despite months of polls forecasting a close-fought contest, a collapse in support for both Labour and the Liberal Democrats looks likely to give the Conservatives 326 seats in the House of Commons – a majority of two.
“This is clearly a very strong night for the Conservative party,” Mr Cameron said after retaining his Witney seat reports Sky News.
However, the victory still means he will have to govern with a far slimmer majority than John Major in 1992 when the party won with a 21-seat margin.
Mr Cameron has returned to London and is expected to go to Buckingham Palace to see the Queen late morning.
And the Lib Dems suffered an electoral nightmare with several senior MPs, including Vince Cable, Danny Alexander and Simon Hughes, losing their seats.
Boris Johnson, who returned to Parliament as MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip, said: “It’s an astonishing night for the Conservatives.